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      Exploiting microvariation: How to make the best of your incomplete data

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          Abstract

          In this article we discuss the use of big corpuses or databases as a first step for qualitative analysis of linguistic data. We concentrate on ASIt, the Syntactic Atlas of Italy, and take into consideration the different types of dialectal data that can be collected from similar corpora and databases. We analyze all the methodological problems derived from the necessary compromise between the strict requirements imposed by a scientific inquiry and the management of big amounts of data. As a possible solution, we propose that the type of variation is per se a tool to derive meaningful generalizations. To implement this idea, we examine three different types of variation patterns that can be used in the study of morpho-syntax: the geographical distribution of properties (and their total or partial overlapping, or complementary distribution), the so-called leopard spots variation, and the lexical variation index, which can be used to determine the internal complexity of functional items.

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          Most cited references32

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          The Oxford handbook of comparative syntax

          (2005)
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            Raffella Zanuttini, Negation and Clausal Structure. A Comparative Study of Romance Languages. (Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax.)Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997, xiv + 201 pp. 0 19 508054 8 (hbk), 0 19 508055 6 (pbk)

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              Language convergence and language death as social processes

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-1835
                Glossa: a journal of general linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-1835
                22 October 2018
                2018
                : 3
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Linguistic and Literary Studies, University of Padova, Piazzetta Folena 1, 35137 Padua, IT
                Article
                10.5334/gjgl.556
                c01508f1-9e83-43a6-bbe9-eaf31bcbe0e4
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Research

                General linguistics,Linguistics & Semiotics
                linguistic atlas,morpho-syntax,microvariation,Italian dialects

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